User:Ctyler/draft/what is fedora the distro

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Note.png
We have agreed to a Default Offering
This page is written on the basis that the concept of a Default Offering (or Primary Spin as used below) is firmly established; see User:Pfrields/Different_default_offering

Contents

Issue

How is the Fedora distribution defined? Is it a universe of packages, a specific spin, or is it something else?

Background

  • It is established and accepted that the Fedora Project has multiple, valuable products or results, including the development of technology, process, and community. However, the Project also has a main product, which is the Fedora distribution.
  • The predecessors to the current Fedora distribution (Fedora Core and Red Hat Linux) had a very clearly defined, bootable and installable form, which fit on either a DVD or (earlier) one or more CDs. It was possible to install all packages without significant conflict.
  • The current Fedora distribution consists of a package set which does not fit onto a single DVD (and would barely fit on a Blu-Ray disc). Multiple bootable and installable subsets of this package set are composed and distributed (spins). It's considered unwise to install all of the packages because some are very specialized, multiple packages provide alternate forms of the same functionality, and there are package conflicts.
  • The question is this: which is the main product of the Fedora Project? What are we trying to produce?

Possible Solutions

The Fedora distribution could be considered in many different ways. Here are two of the main ways of viewing the distribution product:

  1. A Package Universe
    • This universe may be distributed as various installable/bootable subsets
    • Spins are highly valued, and the primary spin is first among equals
  2. The Default Offering or Primary Spin
    • The distribution is has a clearly-identifiable bootable/installable form
    • Other spins can be prepared, but are not the primary focus of the distribution

Risk/Benefit Analysis

As pros and cons:

Package Universe

  • + Simplifies involvement in packaging -- a Fedora package is part of the distribution
  • + Encourages experimentation with alternative subsystems and technology that are incompatible with the primary spin
  • + Encourages a rich ecosystem of different spins
  • - No clear compatibility target for packages

Default Offering / Primary Spin

  • + Maintains a tighter focus - clear compatibility target for packages
  • - Makes the primary spin composition very important, possible point of contention
  • - Devalues others spins and alternate subsystem groups (e.g., KDE)
  • - Places a lot of technical decisions for the product in the hands of the Desktop group, which is primarily composed of Red Hat employees

Resolution